ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Cannes, France: overlooked by the 11th century Suquet Tower, witness to monks and invading liberators

Updated on October 1, 2015
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
The Suquet Tower, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
The Suquet Tower, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France | Source
View of the 'Massif de l'Esterel', the Suquet Tower, Chapelle Sainte-Anne and Notre-Dame-de-l'Espérance Church, from the downtown area, Cannes.
View of the 'Massif de l'Esterel', the Suquet Tower, Chapelle Sainte-Anne and Notre-Dame-de-l'Espérance Church, from the downtown area, Cannes. | Source

A Medieval sentinel

Properly speaking, Le Suquet refers to a 66 metre (216.5 feet) hill overlooking Cannes, France; but the Suquet Tower (French: Tour du Suquet) has since the 11th century contributed 22 metres (72.2 feet) of profile to the hill. In the history of Cannes, the hill has also sometimes been known as Mont-Chevalier and is the original part of the city.

The Tower's somewhat stark and square, unadorned stone features are a reminder that it was originally very much for defensive purposes, as was the adjacent chateau. The Counts of Provence (from centuries before Cannes became part of France) and Medieval monks (1) were among the military users of this stronghold, which seems to stand as a sentinel overlooking the Mediterranean, and which has witnessed numerous comings and goings of attacking forces down the centuries, variously regarded as invaders or liberators. The last invading army arrived in 1944, when the area became a significant landing point for US-led Allied forces on France's Mediterranean coast (2).

I have also supplied, above right, a photo of the Cannes skyline, with the Suquet Tower clearly visible, and with the mountain range known as the Massif de l'Esterel seen in the background.

Also on the hill, next to the Suquet Tower, and contributing prominently to the skyline, are the Chapelle Sainte-Anne and Notre-Dame-de-l'Espérance. It would be fair to say that in Medieval times the dividing line between the ecclesiastical and the military was sometimes somewhat blurred.

Close to the Suquet Tower is the Castre Museum (French: Musée de la Castre), which the City of Cannes opened in 1919, with numerous, valuable Medieval artifacts and well manicured gardens.

Since the early 19th century, British travellers led in the early days by Lord Brougham have been arriving in Cannes in large numbers. The 20th century also saw increasing numbers of Americans coming to the city.

Cannes is situated in the Alpes-Maritimes department of south-eastern France.

October 1, 2015


(1) It would be very wrong to project onto Medieval monks a supposed pacifist outlook! The Abbot of Lérins was a particularly powerful local figure.

(2) By 1944, American and other Allied forces were definitely deemed to be liberators as opposed to occupiers; but in 1940 a significant proportion of French people supported the collaborationist régime of Vichy-France, led by Marshall Philippe Pétain. Doubtless the comings and goings of invading or liberating forces over many centuries, as witnessed by the Suquet Tower, will have exercised a somewhat fluid status in the minds of local people. I recall talking to a local resident who recalled successively both German and American troops stationed in the area in World War Two.

Map location of Cannes, Alpes Maritimes
Map location of Cannes, Alpes Maritimes | Source

Also worth seeing

In Cannes itself, in the Downtown area, its City Hall (French: Hôtel de ville) is a fine, 19th century building; La Croisette is a much visited coastal boulevard, faced by well-known hotels. On Boulevard Carnot are various historic buildings; these include the Germain Building at this Boulevard's junction with Boulevard d'Alsace, and the late 19th century Palace of Justice (French: Palais de Justice).


How to get there: Delta Airlines flies direct from New York to Nice, France (Aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur), the nearest large airport to Cannes , and where car rental is available; a regular coach service from Nice Airport also links with Cannes. The French railroad company SNCF maintains services to Cannes from Downtown Nice. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, it is advisable to check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)